Shedding Skin Without Warning.

The late night scene from the rocks by the goat house. Sleeping. Soundly. My ladies. Pregnant and happy.

GOD bless'em!

It’s the lull that begins to get to me. The “anti-progression” that eats away at my inside. Busy, busy, busy, but NOT. It’s the sort of thing that has been a bit of a burden in me for the last four months. This summer has somewhat of an anomaly in the fact that I have been here. Since the pursuit of my journey in and around the music world I haven’t spent a single summer home for five years. This has been the first. And though I appreciate the time at home, with my lover, my pups, my kitties, goats, chickens, GARDEN, etc. It has also put a strange spin on the past few months. Because of my time at home I have felt that I haven’t been WORKING properly. And though I practice, play, write, run, garden, feed, water, live and love I feel at a stand-still when I am not TOURING. But the terrible part of this all…is that when I am touring I OFTEN time want to be home, in the arms of my lady, with dirt under my nails from working in the yard, with the smell of chickens and goats on the bottoms of my boots. And so it’s in this in between world that I must live and try to live. TO be and STAY happy/content/joyous. Ranting is also a NEED (not that I had to explain here for obvious reasons.)

Garden Days. View from the Corn Children

Bucket full of Greenery.

Beetking Killer. A Murder Scene on the MTN

Moving on.

As the anticipation built for that Thursday night in the park downtown Salt Lake City the boys (Evan, Lawrence, Ike, Nate) and I prepared diligently in the 86-degree room upstairs inside Willamette MTN. Crashing and splashing of cymbals, crunching and bending of electric guitars and the inevitable screeches from the speakers were a constant as the day quickly approached. And then it came. Thursday morning. The previous night I had been asked by my neighbor to go to a fitness class known as “Cross Fit” which is an intense series of three to four different “basic” activities that you do in repetition as quickly as possible and as many times as you can in the time that is allotted to you. I agreed. We headed to the gym where I felt a touch (a lot) out of place. But I CROSS-FITTED anyways. The workout that day was:

10 burpees (this terribly named exercise is where you jump into a pushup position, do a pushup and then jump back up to your feet.)

20 sit-ups

400 meter run.

The time that was given to us was 25 minutes, we were informed that we were to try and do as many repetitions of these things as possible. Ready…Set…and we were off. As I often do, I took the exercise as a competition with the other “cross-fitters” and tried to really really do as many as I possibly could. I finished the 25 minutes just after finishing my sixth round of exercises. We got back to the car and my lower back (seated area as well) was killing me. I returned home and figured it’d be best if I put off some of the daily, household chores and practiced for the My Morning Jacket show that night. But…I didn’t, instead I picked all the cucumbers off the vine, grabbed the ones from the fridge from the previous two days and began making Bread & Butter Pickles. Around 1pm I sat down to take a break.


I couldn’t sit down. (CAUTION: This might not be suitable for those who don’t appreciate GRAPHIC natured material). I pulled my shorts down and looked behind only to see that ALL the skin on my tailbone was missing. It was those DAMNED sit-ups. There was no padding on the floor (cement floor mind you) during the exercises that morning, and seeing as how my mind was focused on “GETTING AS MANY DONE AS POSSIBLE” I never stopped to take notice on the ever decreasing amount of skin on my tail. And so…I finished the pickles, made a couple loaves of zucchini bread and went into the bedroom to get ready for the show. Sound check was at 4pm and I needed to make sure to be there on time. As I slid on my Levi’s I couldn’t button them because of the EXCRUTIATING pain that shot through my body when my two sweet cheeks were pressed together in such a way. I put back on my small running shorts, loaded and the van and headed to SLC.


My guitar playing friend and comrade, Evan, showed up with an extra pair of jeans. Size 32 waist. This just was not a good situation. It appeared as though I was going for a “NEW” look with my baggy jeans on. But what was I to do. We headed out on stage at 7pm, being greeted by thousands of faces and smiles and played through a lot of the new songs off the record that is due out in October. I made it through the show miraculously using a shoelace for a belt. The night was magical. I loved playing music with my best amigos.  The day ended and I was relieved. The show had been so anticipated in my mind that I thought I might lose it.

Friday, as it always does, came and went, there were friends at the MTN and we enjoyed the night and all the danger that she brings. I made sure to head to bed early seeing as how I had the “ULCER” bike race in the morning. AH!!! But the tailbone? One might ask. Well, the tailbone would have to realize that I had trained and wasn’t letting any lack of skin on my behind hold be back. I got up at 5:30am and made sure to have all of my things in order. My good amigo Tim was to meet at my house at 6 and we were going to head out. He showed up and my little lady of the manor greeted us right before we were about to leave with homemade Northplatte Pocket shirts for the race (sewn pockets on the back of the shirt for energy bars, phone, etc). We headed to the start line where we would meet my brother. At 6:30 we were off. The destination? Around Utah lake. 104 miles. The ride was even more enjoyable than it was last year, and having my brother and friend there made the whole thing “magic”.  We raced through the finish line and took the rest of the day to recuperate.  GREAT. GREAT. GRAND.

Biking with Blood. Colby, Joshua, The Teeth.

The weekend slipped by without me noticing. There were a lot of garden activities to finish up before we headed to Jackson, Wyoming for the JAMES GANG family reunion. When Tuesday arrived we already had the car packed with camping gear and supplies. We made the Trek to Lava Hot Springs to take a quick dip before proceeding to Jackson. The whole gang (minus a few I suppose) was there. The conversations and connections made were priceless. The last day of the reunion we visited Yellowstone. My nephews and I jumped in the back of my brother’s pickup and we raced three hours to get there, all the while sitting in the back and taking in the magnificent scenery that was welcoming us in. We saw animals of all shapes and sizes. We witnessed the bison roaming through the hills as they were born to do. There was swimming and screaming. Running and Dancing. The reunion was a smash. My parents are getting Old(er), but then again, aren’t we all?

Nephew Ethan. Truck Gazin’

Nephew Ethan. Coon Hat Wearin’

We made it back safely early Friday morning and spent all day Saturday cleaning up the house and the garden. Sunday arrived early and my Pa in Law took me up Ophir Canyon on a horse. 8 hours on that lil gal gave my behind quite a new look on life. I loved every minute of it. Up and down steep passes. Meeting and connecting with that magnificent animal and that wonderful Pa in Law o'mine was what I felt I was born to do that fine day in August 2012. And so I finish my week up. And there it all is. Boring and Long. My life in a shell.

Sunday with Star. Stealin my heart.

The infamous “Tommy Greenwood.” Ophir Canyon, Utah. American Fork Boys

To the tyrant

To the killer of pain

To the swimmer in dream

To the comrade of the night

To my lover, my father, my mother, and you.


Joshua Fred.